Monday, December 03, 2012
CONVERSATIONS WITH PEPPERS
Only carnivorously tabloid reporters and hyperlonely folks with no vegetable friends make fun of gardeners who talk to their plants. Look at what happened to Prince Charles. He stopped admitting it, speaks to vegetative bodies only in private now, except perhaps when he addresses parliament.
But the fact is that all gardeners talk to their plants, especially in early winter, like me this morning when I was walking the rows clearing the gray stalks and wilted vines, harvesting what I could and pausing to amaze over the stalwart peppers, especially the incipient ones huddled on thin stems trying to become green in the cold.
Peppers originated in warm climates, so cold is not their friend, but they were literally hangin' in there, the younger, smaller, yet still piquant ones that, despite their brave efforts, were beginning to turn yellow as though they were holding their breath. Under the pitiful circumstances, who with a beating heart could simply walk by these wannabe succulent emerald lives and say nothing? Any such folk should not be gardening, for they hold no esteem in the vegetable world. Agrobizzers, likely.
I could only sympathize and be thankful to the virtually shivering capsicums for all their efforts, as for example the savor they gave to my chili last week, but for all that green shivering it was a pretty one-sided conversation. Still, I could make out some words of their language, which is not subject to the limitations of mere sound like ours, but takes the form of light and color; thus no need for crude lips or vocal chords. Most of what I could make out from their side was in the nature of “Get me out of here!” Which I did.
Our conversations were therefore brief, as I went down the rows emanating pepperish gratitude as best I could, knowing that any buds left in place would grow no more, now that the cold was waxing fast. I harvested whoever was of sliceable size, to help me continue with my life; the rest would become part of next years' proud summer pepper chorus.
Peppers do appreciate an audience.